be barking up the wrong tree

(redirected from is barking up the wrong tree)

be barking up the wrong tree

To be attempting or pursuing a futile course of action, often by making some kind of suggestion or request. If you think I'll help you cheat, you're definitely barking up the wrong tree! I was barking up the wrong tree when I applied to such good colleges with my average grades.
See also: bark, tree, up, wrong

be barking up the wrong tree

If someone is barking up the wrong tree, they are following the wrong course of action because their beliefs about something are not correct. Scientists in Switzerland realised that most other researchers had been barking up the wrong tree. Nobby, we've been barking up the wrong tree! We should have been looking for something green! Note: This expression comes from raccoon hunting, which takes place at night. Dogs that are trained to show where raccoons are hiding by barking sometimes indicate the wrong tree.
See also: bark, tree, up, wrong

be barking up the wrong ˈtree

be mistaken about something: The police are barking up the wrong tree if they think I had anything to do with the crime. I wasn’t even in the country when it happened!
See also: bark, tree, up, wrong
References in periodicals archive ?
Sutcliffe is barking up the wrong tree as far as having a family is concerned, but these women must be barking to even consider writing to him in the first place.
However, he is barking up the wrong tree when he suggests that conflict of interest was present in my study of perceived treatment efficacy for therapies for multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) (Gibson et al.
A moment of reflection could tell anyone McWilliams is barking up the wrong tree.
While FEI's Committee on Corporate Reporting has jurisdiction within FEI over technical accounting and reporting issues and has not yet commented on the FASB action, my experience in administering stock option programs convinces me that the FASB is barking up the wrong tree.